Electron Beam Freeform Fabrication: An electron beam melts a metal feedstock, layering the raw molten material into a predetermined part or object. EBF3 could head to the ISS in the near future. NASA
Every good futuristic sci-fi narrative has its version: Star Trek
had the replicator that produced Picard's piping hot Earl Grey from what appeared to be thin air, and Forbidden Planet
had Robbie the Robot, who generated entire luncheons from the chemical lab in his nether regions. But NASA scientists have come many real-world steps closer to creating something from nothing, via a process called electron beam freeform fabrication, and a version of the technology will soon be going to the International Space Station for testing.